Monday, March 23, 2015

The Apple Watch will fail

Five years from now, Google Glass (or a similar HUD, perhaps with tech borrowed from Magic Leap and Leap Motion) will be the primary interface for early tech adopters and Apple Watch will have been shown to be a flash in the pan/hobby business for Apple. Apple Watch may still exist, and perhaps do a brisk business by the personal chronometer industry's standards, but it won't move the needle for Apple any more than Apple TV has to date. In fact, Apple TV has a much brighter future than Apple Watch.

It's all about the user interfaces. Smartphones are a compromise between portability and screen size. A compromise that Apple got wrong for years I might add while Android ate their marketshare lunch. The iPhone 6/6+ are finally about right, but this is the peak of the smartphone era.

Meanwhile the Apple Watch goes the wrong direction on that compromise. It's very portable but will be useless for most UI tasks. Just ask yourself, if you're going to get an SMS - do you want to look down at your wrist and then have to use a scroll wheel to see all 140 characters, or do you want it to hover in your field of view, together with useful meta-information like contact details and your calendar? 

A good HUD gives you the same portability as a watch (it's wearable) and more apparent screen size than any smartphone ever can. It can be your entire field of view even.

Socially we will adapt. Next gen models will just look like sunglasses with thick ear booms. The cameras and microphones will be pinholes. More of the electronics will be hidden behind the ear, like those big wrap-around hearing aids.

Expect male techies (who haven't already gone shaggy) to grow their hair out a bit to hide the battery packs behind their ears. Women already have that covered and you won't see a change except in hair styles being more often down than up. Contact lenses will become even more popular so that people can take their glasses off when they want to indicate "off the record" intimacy.


Related Posts (Examples of Wrong): How The Apple Watch And iPhone 6 Plus Might Flip Your Mobile Computing Habits

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